The Role of Domestic Courts in the Interpretation of Customary International Law: How can we Learn from Domestic Interpretive Practices?

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

29 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter examines the contribution that domestic courts may have in the development of rules or guidelines for the interpretation of customary international law (CIL). Through an examination of national cases where courts interpret both domestic and international custom, the chapter traces methodologies of interpretation and motivations behind them. The chapter then asks two questions: how can we learn from domestic interpretive practices? and why should we learn from them? In answer to the first question, the chapter argues that domestic courts can contribute to the development of rules for CIL interpretation beyond the role assigned to them in the framework of sources, and also in informal ways. In answer to the second question, the chapter argues that looking to domestic interpretive approaches for custom may help us fill the ‘gap’ currently existing on this issue in international law, that domestic courts offer a wealth of cases from which we can draw, and that by learning from domestic interpretive practices international law can provide domestic judges with various familiar tools for their further engagement with CIL in the future.
Originele taal-2English
TitelThe Theory, Practice and Interpretation of Customary International Law
RedacteurenPanos Merkouris, Noora Arajärvi, Jörg Kammerhofer
UitgeverijCambridge University Press
ISBN van geprinte versie9781316516898
StatusPublished - mei-2022

Publicatie series

NaamThe Rules of Interpretation of Customary International Law

Citeer dit